Garrity's Friday Stakes Picks 5 races from Pimlico – Allaire Dupont, Old Hilltop, Black-Eyed Susan, and more
The eyes of the racing world will be on Pimlico today, where the Black Eyed Susan Stakes headlines a stakes-laden card on the eve of the Preakness. We have five plays in five races, all stakes and we expect fast dirt and firm turf on what should be a beautiful late spring day in Baltimore. Let’s go.
Pimlico, Race 8, 2:35 pm ET
Grade 3 Allaire Dupont Distaff Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A field of six fillies and mares lines up for the Allaire Dupont, the first stakes of the day at Old Hilltop. We like 1-Exotic West, who should get an ideal trip, sitting just behind what figures to be a robust early pace, saving ground from her rail post, and moving to the front when the pacesetters begin to shorten stride. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Pimlico, Race 8, $35 to win on 1-Exotic West.
Pimlico, Race 9, 3:36 pm ET
$100,000 Old Hilltop Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Eight sophomore fillies go in the Old Hilltop. The headliner is 4-Pizza Bianca, who is odds-on almost entirely because she won last year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. We think her presence makes this a good betting race, not because we like her in this spot – we think her Breeders Cup win was average at best, and in this spot wouldn’t bet her with counterfeit money – but because the support she will get at the windows will make the prices on the other runners highly attractive.
We like 2-Lady Puchi. At first glance, she would not appear to have much of a chance, as her record seems mediocre – it took her eight tries to break her maiden – but we think she is better than her past performances suggest, as she is a closer who spent the winner spinning her stretch-running wheels on Gulfstream Park’s turf course, which favored speed, sometimes absurdly so, all winter. Today, on a Pimlico turf course that will be much kinder to her running style, and in a race that on paper should favor a closer, we think she has a big shot to win, and to do so at a generous 8-1 morning line number. Look for her to be well back early, and moving late; we will bet her to win. The bet: Pimlico, Race 9, $40 to win on 2-Lady Puchi.
Pimlico, Race 10, 4:07 pm ET
Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A field of eight fillies lines up for the Miss Preakness. 2-Under the Stars is a strong play: Her races earlier this year mark her as pretty clearly superior in ability to the rest of this group, and while her last race, when she finished a well-beaten fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks, was poor, we are drawing a line through it, as she nearly fell down when the gates opened, and then raced wide throughout. We think she reverts to form with a better trip today, especially since she is cutting back to sprinting after running in longer races, and she appears to be more suited to distances like the 6 furlongs she will run today. She is the likeliest winner on the card, we think; look for her to press the pace early and draw away late, and look for us to be removing the rubber band around the bankroll to bet her to win at 8/5. The bet: Pimlico, Race 10, $60 to win on 2-Under the Stars.
Pimlico, Race 12, 5:10 pm ET
Grade 3 Pimlico Special, 1 3/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
The 2022 edition of the Pimlico Special drew eleven older horses. The field is noteworthy as a group for a lack of early speed, which makes the pick 4-Workin on a Dream, who has a huge edge in terms of early pace, and who seems a cinch to get the early lead, and who has shown in the past that he can be very difficult to catch when he is allowed to set the pace while running comfortable fractions. This will certainly be a class test for him, but we think that a race shape that will favor him can carry him to the winner’s circle. At 12-1, that makes him a terrific play. We will bet him to win. The bet; Pimlico, Race 12, $40 to win on 4-Workin on a Dream.
Pimlico, Race 13, 5:44 pm ET
Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Thirteen 3-year-old fillies go to the gate for the Black Eyed Susan. We like 12-Favor, who strung together two wins at Gulfstream Park over the winter, and was impressive enough doing so that trainer Todd Pletcher ran her next in the Fair Grounds Oaks in March. She did not win that day, but she did finish third, which was a decent result, especially since the winner that day was Echo Zulu, one of the top fillies in the country. She will need to improve today, and she will need to negotiate an outside post that is no bargain, but we think that her ability, and her generous 8-1 morning line price, make it a good wager that Favor can handle the challenge. And it doesn’t hurt that the field, as a group, seems pretty weak. We will bet her to win. The bet: Pimlico, Race 13, $40 to win on 12-Favor.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the races, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.